Strong support for the legalization of medical cannabis was shown by the candidates from the National Liberation (PLN), Christian Social Unity (PUSC) and Citizen Action (PAC) parties. Of the eleven candidates, eight are in favor, one is against, and no response was received from two other applicants.
In the case of the liberationists, there are two candidates who are deputies and with the power to influence the approval of a bill along these lines. They are Carlos Ricardo Benavides and Roberto Thompson, both green and white legislators. Both are in favor of the initiative promoted by independent legislator Zoila Rosa Volio. File 21,388 was ruled the previous November by the Environment Commission, but since then there has been no progress by the Presidential Office.
“From the beginning I have been in favor of the project of the deputy Zoila Volio on Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis,” said Benavides. “I consider it a great opportunity for the country to generate wealth and employment in many regions of Costa Rica,” he added.
Other liberationists who agree to legalize medical cannabis are José María Figueres and Rolando Araya. “I would legalize medical cannabis, based on the ample scientific evidence in its favor. In addition, it would authorize the planting of hemp as a profitable alternative for our farmers”, wrote Figueres on his social networks.
For his part, Araya acknowledged being in agreement due to the expert investigations, although he considered the first thing to be to move the country forward. “It’s like the house is on fire and they ask about the color of the curtains, that will be later,” he said.
The only one against production on Costa Rican soil is the candidate Claudio Alpízar. He is only inclined to import the product. “I do not believe that it is a solution for the Costa Rican economy nor do I believe that it is something essential in public health but, being a drug that is used in some places that is used to appease, the best thing is import,” he argued.
PUSC very in favor
Two Christian Socialist candidates were in favor of the initiative due to the economic benefits that the production and commercialization would bring in Costa Rica. For the aspiring Pedro Muñoz, in the economic moment that the country is facing, it is vital to approve the initiative to generate fresh income and employment.
The Social Christian Erwen Masís is also inclined to approve the initiative. Both he and Muñoz, currently being deputies, can give their vote in favor if the project reaches the Plenary for discussion. As for the red-and-blue Lineth Saborío, no response was obtained to the request made by her campaign team.
Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer) published a study last October that reveals the hemp by-products that Costa Rica could exploit
The report indicates the following:
– Those obtained from CBD (cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive element in cannabis) as supplements, topical solutions, or incorporating it into food and beverages
– Industrial application products such as bioplastics and sustainable construction
– Foods such as dairy, bakery products, seeds, and snacks
– Personal care products like soaps and lotions
– Textiles such as clothing and uniforms
PAC is also in favor
The trend in favor continues among the pre-candidates Martha Zamora and Carolina Hidalgo of the Citizen Action Party (PAC). “I am completely in favor of Costa Rica advancing in the use of alternative medicines and should in that direction seek legislation in accordance with the reality we live in, we have the example of Uruguay that has done so in a slow and scientific manner,” declared Zamora.
Hidalgo even goes further and agrees on both the regulation of medical cannabis and legalizing recreational marijuana. “It would bring multiple benefits to Costa Rica, both in economic matters and in people’s health. As a country, we must take that step and equip the State with what is necessary for this to happen,” said the politician. In the case of PAC candidate Hernán Solano, his press officer indicated that he will not refer to national issues until he is eventually the official candidate.
In 2020, the commercialization of CBD products was estimated at $ 1,928 million worldwide, which translates into a growth of 57% in the 2016-2020 period, according to Procomer. Among the large producers of hemp, China, Canada as well as Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador and Paraguay stand out; all in Latin America.